Nkosi City – a unique approach to an integrated human settlement
It may take a village to raise a child, but it also takes a dedicated and motivated team to build a village. Dovetail Properties, an established property business development company based in Gauteng, believes that what you do today creates tomorrow. Their focus is on projects that empower, uplift and educate communities. It is in this spirit that they embarked on the development of Nkosi City in Daantjie, Mpumalanga.
Dovetail’s purpose is to advance partnerships, entering joint ventures with the community, who have an equal share in the development. They provide development capital and know-how for these communities.
The Nkosi City journey began in July 2011 through all the reports, studies and plans required to effect registration of the development with Infrastructure South Africa, which took place in October 2022.
It takes a village: formal partnerships
Nkosi City impacts on 123 000 households (approximately 600 000 people) and is developed in an equal partnership between the Nkosi City Communal Property Association and Dovetail Properties, assisted by the National Government, Mpumalanga Provincial Government and the City of Mbombela.
Additional approval and support were provided by the City of Mbombela, Department of Health and Social Development, Mpumalanga Department of Education, Mpumalanga Provincial Cabinet and the Provincial Department of COGTA.
Total development cost
Government land parcels development cost
Private land parcels development cost
Nkosi City AgriVillage a unique plan
Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of the development is that of the urban farm concept. This combines Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) housing with farm portions totalling 240 Ha, which are designated for intensive agriculture.
Treated as a security residential farm estate with security and safety foremost in mind, the plan is aimed at job creation for the occupants of the RDP homes and food security for the wider community. Larger parcels of land mean there are less streets and infrastructure needs. Through offtake agreements from major supermarket groups and agricultural specialist training, the development aims to uplift and create change for the residents. There is also a Hemp farming initiative which may kick off during the next few months.
AgriVillage by the numbers
Total estimated cost of infrastructure
R67 760 000
Total estimated cost of equipment and machinery
R18 585 950
Combined cost for AgriVillage
R86 345 950
Projected Production Income (PPI)
*Figures based on anticipated PPI and CPI – an average of 10% has been used
Job creation model
Nkosi City AgriVillage
Total size (ha)
Number of workers/ha
Jobs per block
Casual jobs per block
Total casual jobs
Fresh produce market/farm stall
Total number of jobs
Going beyond RDP into an economically diverse agri-city
Planned in six phases, the Nkosi City development goes beyond just providing housing and the farm concept. It envisages the transformation of this rural community into an economically diverse and fully integrated agri-city. The proposed components of this project include the provision of:
Residential housing: Over 5000 RDP homes, apartments, bonded housing and urban farms.
Education: Pre-schools, a primary and secondary school, a TVET College, agricultural training centres and the Nkosi City Training Centre.
Provincial hospital and clinic.
Veterinary services: Welfare, education, conservation, research and rehabilitation.
Institutional and commercial offices, including mixed-use buildings (ground floor commercial and upstairs residential).
Services: Police station, fire and emergency services, Post Office etc.
Retail space: Regional retail centre, a value centre, fresh produce market, entertainment and restaurants, filling stations and a central business district.
Tourism opportunities: Hotel or lodge, other hospitality and B&B facilities within Nkosi City.
Light industrial node: Agricultural process and packing plants, secondary co-operative, mini factories and warehousing.
All these planned components of the development will also require transport nodes, i.e., a bus terminus and taxi rank, together with the full gamut of infrastructure to be developed.
Additional thought was given to what a community needs to thrive – thus sports facilities at schools and a larger stadium are proposed, together with a host of community facilities from churches to a public swimming pool, orphanages, a library, a cemetery, parks and recreational areas, including a dam with a picnic area.